I don’t travel down to the United States very often but when I do get down there it is always nice to be able to stay connected. Unfortunately the mobile companies here in Canada like to charge fairly exorbitant prices for their roaming into the US. The last trip we took as a family I ordered some T-Mobile Pre Paid SIM cards and used them for less than what the Canadian mobile company would have charged. This latest trip to Disneyland I was thinking of doing the same thing but then I heard of a company called Roam Mobility. It was a bit of a hassle getting T-Mobile SIM cards the last trip so I decided to give Roam Mobility a try this trip and I was very pleased.
First off the prices for Roam Mobility were decent. I wanted to be able to make calls back to Canada, in the US, text and wanted data to be able to share photos and updates with friends and family. Not a huge amount of data, but being self-employed there was always the possibility that I might need to do some work while away as well so not having to worry about eating through data caps too quickly is always a concern. We were going to be gone for 12 days. My current Canadian service company, Koodo, has roaming packages for 10 days for $40, but with a data cap of 250MB (seriously only 250MB) and overage fees on data at $5/50MB. The next roaming package is 30 days for $75 with 750MB of data.
Roam Mobility lets you purchase a plan for the number of days you are going to be gone. So in our case for 12 days I would get 4.8GB of 4G LTE data plus unlimited texting and calls back to Canada for only $47.40 plus the cost of the SIM card ($15). Now I had to get that for two phones but it worked out to be a better deal for the Roam Mobility SIM cards than it was to use the Koodo roaming packages. Not to mention the Koodo packages offered unlimited talk in the US but we had to make several calls back to Canada due to a family emergency and the Roam Mobility plans let us do that and not worry about the cost. Price wise I felt it was worth using Roam Mobility over the Koodo roaming packages. Roam Mobility made it easy to order and easy to see what you price was going to be.
A good price of course is one thing but if you don’t have coverage where you are going it doesn’t matter how good the price is. Checking the Roam Mobility coverage map it looked like we would have great coverage in Anaheim. We were going to Disneyland and California Adventure mostly with some day trips to San Diego and Hollywood. For the most part we had great coverage everywhere we were, except one. For some reason in Disneyland in the Tomorrowland section I had no coverage at all. My signal would drop by the time we got to Star Tours. My son thought it was pretty funny that I could not connect in Tomorrowland.
My wife’s phone, a Moto G, had no problem connecting everywhere we went, even in Tomorrowland, so I don’t know if it was something about my Nexus 5 that was having problems or what the problem was. My phone would say I had a connection but I could not send or receive texts, data or calls anywhere in the Tomorrowland area of Disneyland. Other than that one area I did not notice many other problems with coverage.
I ordered our SIM cards online, and got a deal when I ordered. Two SIM cards for $15 with free shipping. Apparently you can buy the SIM cards at a few places like Staples and even 7-Eleven but I never did find see them when I was at those places. I had enough time to order the SIM cards online plus you need to create an account to activate them and purchase you plan anyway so if you know you are going to the US (and Mexico now as well it looks like) you might was well just order the SIM cards online, setup your account so you can activate the cards when you get them.
It was easy to setup the account, order the cards and purchase the plans. You can even tell them when the plans should start and stop in advance so all you have to do when you get to the US is put the SIM card in and perhaps add a new APN and you are ready to go. Roam Mobility will even send you a text with some instructions when you insert the SIM card in the US to help you along. It was all pretty easy.
The only problem I could see some people having is not having an unlocked phone. I have always made sure to buy unlocked phones, but many people that just get their phones at a discount from the Canadian mobile companies are almost always locked. Just something to be aware of if you are planning on using Roam Mobility, to make sure your phone is unlocked.
I am not a mobile review expert but overall I was very pleased with Roam Mobility on our trip. I plan on keeping the SIM cards active for our next trip south and it sounds like that will be a fairly inexpensive option than having to order new SIM cards every time. I would recommend Roam Mobility if you are planning a trip to the US. It could end up saving you from some of those insane $1000’s of dollars cell phone horror stories you hear about on the news.
If you have used Roam Mobility what was your experience?